Treadmill Recommendations by Price Range
Treadmills can be purchased for as little as $300 to as much as $4,500 or more! There are literally hundreds of models to choose from. In general, treadmills are no different than any other piece of home fitness equipment. You get what you pay for.
Treadmills under $1,000 often come with a short 90-day warranty and overall don't perform that well and aren't built to last. They'll typically be lighter in weight, less stable, have smaller and narrower belts, and have fewer features. These budget treadmills are best for walking and light use.
More expensive treadmills, by contrast, have much better warranties and are of higher quality. It's not uncommon to see lifetime warranties on the frame and generous warranties on the motor. They'll be much heavier, more stable, and will have plenty of features. These treadmills are built to take a regular beating and are more durable. iiThe following treadmill recommendations come from the Treadmill Doctor. They are an online retailer of treadmill parts and accessories. They have short reviews of just about every treadmill model made. They have quickly become known online as the number one source for objective reviews of treadmills. And since they don't sell treadmills, you know they don't have a bias towards any brand or model. They are a highly reputable source of information on treadmills.
If you're not sure what price range is best for you, check out the Treadmill Selection Guide that the Treadmill Doctor put together. It's a quick and easy questionnaire that will help you determine what price range you should be looking at when buying a treadmill.
Treadmills in this range are budget models to say the least. Don't expect these treadmills to last a long time and be prepared for regular repairs. I'm not trying to discourage you from buying a treadmill in this price range if it's all you can afford. I just want you to be aware of what you are buying.
Don't be tempted to "save a buck" and opt for a cheaper treadmill if you can afford a more expensive model. If you can afford to spend $1,000 on a treadmill and you'll be using it at least a couple times per week, don't even look at treadmills under $500. You'll thank me later with fewer repairs and a much smoother, quieter machine (and more enjoyable workouts).
If you're on a tight budget, however, and $500 is all you can afford, I recommend that you consider joining a health club instead of buying an inexpensive treadmill. If you have a health club in your area and if you can join for less than $500/year, that will be a much better option for you in the long run. By having a membership to a club, you'll have access to the highest quality exercise machines and you may be more committed to staying in shape since you're "forced" to go somewhere to workout.
If the local health club is out of the question, then there are a couple treadmills in this price range to consider.
The Proform C 500 gets a "Best Buy" rating from the Treadmill Doctor in this price range. It is "simply the best sub-$500 treadmill on the market," according to them. The Proform C 500 is only available at Sam's Club or their website for $499.
Another treadmill to consider is the Weslo Cadence C 72. The Treadmill Doctor says that is a, "a decent choice if you want to stick to the $450 range." The Weslo Cadence C 72 retails for $449 and you can buy it and other Weslo treadmills directly from Weslo.
The other treadmills that the Treadmill Doctor likes in this price range are the Image 15.0 R and the Image 17.0 R. These can be found at Walmart. At the time of this writing, however, the Image 17.0 R was not available. I don't know if it's discontinued or if it's just not carried anymore at Walmart. The Image 15.0 R was still available and had a sale price of $365 (regularly $398).
$500 - $1,000 Recommended Buys
For 2005, Treadmill Doctor rated the Epic T 60 as a best buy with the Gold's Gym VX5000 as a close second. Both of these treadmills are made by Icon Fitness. The Epic T 60 is found exclusively at Costco and the Gold's Gym VX5000 is found exclusively at Sam's Club. Both are generally priced around $900.
For 2006, however, they have new recommendations. They now rate the Sole F63 as the best buy in this category. The Sole F63 has a 2.5 continuous duty motor with a user weight capacity of 285 pounds. It folds for easier storage, comes equipped with six workout programs, and comes with a hand pulse grip with a wireless chest strap included to monitor your heart rate. Read my full review of the Sole F63.
The Sole F63 has an amazing warranty for the price. The frame has a lifetime warranty, 20 years on the motor, 3 years on the deck, electronics, belt, and rollers, and 1 year on labor. With all of its features and generous warranty, it's tough to beat at only $999.99! The Sole F63 is available at SoleTreadmills.
Another treadmill that gets high marks from the Treadmill Doctor and consumers alike, is the Smooth 5.25. Smooth treadmills are made by Smooth Fitness and are sold exclusively online. The Smooth treadmills have a solid reputation and a large fan base. We've run across countless reviews of Smooth treadmills and the vast majority of them are highly positive.
The Smooth 5.25 is similar to the Sole F63. The Smooth 5.25 comes with a 2.5 continuous motor with a user weight capacity of 275 pounds. It folds, has seven workout programs, and has a hand grip pulse to monitor your heart rate but does not include the wireless chest strap. The Smooth 5.25 has a slightly better warranty, however, than the Sole F63. It has a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, 3 years on all parts, and 1 year of in-home service. The Smooth 5.25 is regularly priced at $1,497 but is often on sale for $1,099. Read my full review of the 5.25 Smooth treadmill.
The Smooth 5.25 is offered exclusively online at SmoothFitness.
$1000 - $2,000 Recommended BuysiiMost consumers can find a high-quality treadmill to meet their needs in this price range. These mid-priced treadmills provide great value for just about every consumer. Unless you are a serious runner and need to train for marathons, you really won't need to look beyond the $2,000 price point. iiThe Treadmill Doctor ranks the Smooth 6.25 and the Bodyguard T 240 as "Best Buys" for treadmills in this category. The Smooth 6.25 treadmill is another model made by Smooth Fitness and the Treadmill Doctor says it is, "the brightest star in the Smooth lineup." The Smooth 6.25 has a powerful 2.75 continuous duty motor, a generous 20" x 54" deck, folds, and has a user weight capacity of 350 pounds. According to the Treadmill Doctor, this is one of the most stable treadmills for runners in the $1,500 price range.
The Smooth 6.25 has one of the best warranties available on a folding treadmill. It has a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, 5 years on all parts, and 1 year of in-home service. This treadmill has a retail price of $1,997 but is usually on sale for $1,499. Read my full review of the 6.25 Smooth treadmill.iTreadmill Doctor says the Bodyguard T 240, is the "strongest treadmill with the best warranty under $2,000.00." The Bodyguard T 240 is very similar to the Smooth 6.25. It has a 2.75 continuous duty motor, folds, and has a user weight capacity of 350 pounds. The Bodyguard T 240 has a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, 10 years on parts, and 3 years on labor. The Bodyguard retails for around $1,899. Read my full review of the Bodyguard treadmills.iiAnother treadmill that gets high marks in this price range is the Sole F85. This is Sole's top-of-the-line folding treadmill. The Sole F85 is one of the best folding treadmills you'll find. In fact, the Treadmill Doctor says it is, "One of the best fold-ups on the planet." Read my full review of the Sole F85 treadmill.
The Sole F85 has a powerful 3.5 continuous duty motor with a user weight capacity of 400 pounds. It has six workout programs, two user-defined programs, heart rate monitoring with a wireless chest strap included, and comes equipped with cooling fans.
The Sole F85 has a great warranty with a 30 year warranty on the motor, lifetime warranty on the deck and frame, 5 years on the electronics, belt, and rollers, and 2 years on labor. The Sole F85 sells for $1,999.99 with free shipping and is available at SoleTreadmills.
Other treadmills the Treadmill Doctor likes in this price range are the Pacemaster Bronze and the Pacemaster Silver.
$2,000 - $3,000 Recommended Buysii
The treadmills you'll find in this price range are high quality models for the serious walker and runner. These higher-end machines will give you excellent workouts and years of use! iiThe Treadmill Doctor rates the Pacemaster Gold as a "Best Buy" and says this about the model: "The most popular model from Pacemaster includes a much larger, wider frame to answer the weight concerns over the Silver model which gives you a much higher degree of stability. Overall, it is hard to find anything wrong with this treadmill. If you can get a dealer to drop the price by $100, it is easily the best treadmill under $2,000. It is near the top of its class over $2,000 too."ii The Pacemaster Gold has a 3.0 continuous duty motor, a 20" x 60" belt, and has a user weight capacity of 400 pounds. The only drawback is that it has a large footprint and doesn't fold for storage so be sure you have room for it.
Another great treadmill to consider is the Landice L770 Home Sport Trainer. The Treadmill Doctor says the Landice L770 Home Sport Trainer and the L7 Pro Sport are, "One of the best values on a high quality machine." The Landice L7 Pro Sport has a retail price of around $2,995 and the L770 is around $3,200. Read the full review of the Landice L7 Pro Sport. Other excellent treadmills to consider in this price range are the Pacemaster Platinum and the Precor 9.31. Both of these treadmills get high marks from the Treadmill Doctor.iii
$3,000+ Recommended Buys
The treadmills in this price range are going to be top-of-the-line. You'll basically have the same treadmill quality that you'll find at your local fitness center. You'll get years of use from these treadmills and you'll love the workout you'll get. These treadmills are solid, stable, and smooth!ii Treadmill Doctor gives the Landice L8 series a "Best Buy" rating. Personally, I find that the Landice L870 LTD Sport Trainer has the best overall feel for the money. It's cheaper than other comparable models and still packs a powerful punch with its' features and durability. iiPrecor also makes some very high-end treadmills that are in this price range. Precor has been a leader in high-end treadmills for years. You can read more about them by reading our review on Precor treadmills. Other high-end treadmills the Treadmill Doctor likes are the Woodway Desmo S, Precor 9.33 I, and the Nordic Track 8600.
Treadmill Buyer's Guide - First time buying a treadmill? This comprehensive guide makes it easy to find the right treadmill for you! Treadmill Selection Guide - Have no clue where to start? Our quick questionnaire will help narrow your treadmill selection. i Treadmill Reviews of the Most Popular Brands - Not sure which treadmill brands to consider? Our reviews will help!